Well, the 2012 Sporting Rifle Match is complete for me (the locals shoot it once a month from February to September) and I’m freshly showered and sitting in the same restaurant as last night drinking a white russian (the dude abides). Feeling really good yet very very drained. The shooters’ meeting for this match begins at 0700 am and we wrapped up the shooting and awards around 1600. The morning started out very cloudy, windy (what else is new in this area) and much lower temperatures than yesterday. The locals were bundled up in jackets and hats and I just thought of the 40 something degrees as kind of a normal spring in Michigan. Being true to the nature of New Mexico, it did clear up (the winds never die down) and the afternoon temps were comfortably back up into the high 60’s, low 70’s. At this elevation, that being 6650 ft., even 70 feels quite warm and I definitely acquired a farmers ‘
tan magenta. The squad I was in started on stage 5 and progressed through stage 10, and then hiked back to stage 1, where the guys dropped the layered clothing and shot the remaining stages in cooler attire. I dropped my long sleeved shirt and finished up in a t-shirt (hence the unique sun exposure).
Overall, I was very pleased with my performance, both physically and on the rifle. After last year’s rather embarrassing adventure, I really had no where to go but up. By the end of the day I was , admittedly, drained, but the hiking along the 4 mile route and the picking up and setting down of the gear all day did not result in my being semi-conscious and ready to drop. Instead I felt rather good overall and could easily have done some more stages if necessary. So, score a nice point for dropping 30+ lb. and doing a shitload of walking in the year since last May’s match.
Shooting wise, I was using the same Remington VS in .308 sending 175 gr. Sierra Matchkings downrange, propelled by 43.0 g. of Varget powder in Lapua brass. My goal for this year was to break 20 (out of a perfect 60) and I succeeded with a 24. Not great but decent and if I’m able to come again next year, I would ratchet the bar up to try and break 35. If I could manage to shoot a 40 or better, I would be totally on cloud 9 (get the 35 first, moron).
As I mentioned last year, these guys (and some gals too) are mostly from Colorado and they participate in this match on a monthly basis. They know their rifles, their ammo loads, their scope settings and have much experience reading the winds out here. Again I am in awe, as about 2/3 of the folks scored 40 or above. The top awards today went to a guy in my squad who shot a 56 (he was on track to tie or set a new match record of 58 or higher when he dropped a shot on our second to last stage).
Another thing that is really kewl with these guys guns are the amount of suppressors that are screwed onto the barrel ends. Many folks had suppressors and they seem to help a lot with recoil. The top shooters in our squad were shooting 260 Remington and one was shooting 7mm WSM.
So, in the morning, I will hit the road and head back east to home in Michigan as the curtain comes down on another really satisfying Boomershoot trip for 2012. I am already looking forward to next year’s trip, again gathering with David, Phil and Scott at Bob and Kenda’s; seeing the good folks that frequent Joe’s Orofino April Experience and trying to smack a few more of these steel plates in New Mexico.
Y’all have a healthy and prosperous year.